Why, hello again! So nice of you to return! You must be hungry!
One question I get a lot about food is "how do you try new things?" or "how do you know you will like it?"
Well, I browse a lot of recipes. Online, cookbooks, magazines... you name it. It's my hobby. :) The main things I look for in a recipe are--
1. Have I heard of all the ingredients?
2. Do I like all of the ingredients?
3. Are the ingredients readily available at home/store?
Let's start by looking at this recipe, courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats.
8oz bow tie pasta- well, that's easy. Who doesn't like pasta?
1 Tablespoon butter- butter? duh.
salt & pepper- you get the idea
2 small shallots, chopped- now, here you might start to have some hesitation. Shallots? Well, allow me. They're like a flavor packed small onion. Readily available, yes, in most grocery stores. My home? No. So I substituted a little onion instead.
2 cups chicken tenders, cut into small chunks- chicken.
2 eggs- love eggs
1 1/4 cups skim milk- got milk?
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning- yep
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided- yes, love me some Parmesan
1-8oz package Colby Jack cheese- Hmm? Any hesitation here? Colby Jack is a pretty basic cheese, available everywhere. But again, wasn't in my house. So I subbed cheddar cheese. We turned out fine. :)
1-14oz can quartered artichokes, drained and roughly chopped- oooo now here's the big one. Artichokes? Do I like those? Hmm... put your thinking cap on. Have you ever had them? I can think of eating spinach & artichoke dip ... and I like 'em in there. So here's where I expand my horizons. Good in a dip, let's try it in a casserole!!
1-10pz package chopped, frozen spinach, thawed and wrung out with a dish towel- Spinach is good.
1 slice whole wheat bread- readily available in my home, but you could easily sub white bread.
1/2 teaspoon paprika- kind of a "nothing" spice. No real flavor unless you use large quantities, then it gets spicy.
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
So, do you get it? Just go through the ingredients one by one. Evaluate them and go from there! Yay! Now you can expand your horizons too!
Ok, now let's get to the recipe! THIS WAS DELICIOUS! Like out of this world! The left overs were even tastier I thought!
Start by boiling water and cooking your pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-medium high heat and cook shallots/onions & chicken until cooked.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, Italian seasoning & 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese. Stir in colby jack cheese, spinach, and artichokes. Aaron & I both said when we were done eating it that the artichokes needed to be "weeded" better. :) Artichokes have tough areas to them that are un-chewable, and unfortunately I did not cut all of them out. So make sure you do!!
Then combine everything together and spread into a greased casserole dish. Cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight if wanted. Otherwise bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
While cooking, combine remaining 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, bread slice and paprika in a food processor. Pulse until fine bread crumbs. Stir in melted butter. Top casserole and bake another 5 minutes.